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Guest service and guest complaints within food and beverage

Food and Beverage Management

1 What is guest service? Why is guest service important to a food and beverage operation? How may managers increase the level of guest service provided? Recommend at least three strategies

2 What complaints arise in a food and beverage operation? How are these complaints handled? Who handles them? How does mishandling a complaint affect word-of-mouth advertising? What possible ramifications may occur?

Solution Preview

First, what is guest service? This can be approached in several angles. The first is to define the variables in service. A primary difference in type of service would be the distinction between the dining market and the eating market. The first is the social element of dining out and the latter is simply fulfilling the need to eat. The service aspect of the food and beverage operation will be determined by which need the operation is filling for the guest, dining or eating. Once that primary distinction is made, then it is necessary to define the type of service needed for the organization; table, counter, self, take out, delivery, or even tray (such as on an airplane).

Another angle is to describe service as an aspect of the guest expectation of the value received from the experience. The actual food and beverage received for a price is only part of the equation. The guest also has an expectation for the level of service they receive in addition to the food. The food and presentation for a restaurant can be outstanding, but if the service is lacking the guest will be very displeased and will probably not return and seek the same quality of food elsewhere with a higher level of service. In this regard, guest service is part of the dining (or eating) experience where the guest has a total expectation of value for every dollar spent.

Guest service is important because if the establishment fails to meet the guest expectation of service, then they will fail to meet the guest expectation of total value. The guest will seek to meet their expectation elsewhere. This is true no matter what the cost is, dollar menu or $40 plates, fast food or fine dining.

In order to meet that expectation of value, ...